Judge Blocks FEMA From Ending Housing Aid to Puerto Ricans Displaced After Hurricane

A judge will hold a hearing on Monday after a Latino civil rights group filed a suit to stop what it feared would be evictions

Puerto Ricans who fled Hurricane Maria’s devastation and have been living in temporary housing on the mainland were granted a reprieve Saturday night when a federal judge temporarily blocked the government from ending an assistance program that was set to expire, NBC News reported.

U.S. District Judge Leo T. Sorokin of Massachusetts ordered that the Federal Emergency Management Agency cannot end its Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program until at least midnight Tuesday, meaning those depending on the aid to pay for hotel and motel rooms should be able to stay at least until check-out time Wednesday, according to online court records.

The national civil-rights group that filed a lawsuit Saturday seeking the restraining order said the end of the FEMA assistance would lead to Puerto Rican evacuees being evicted. The temporary restraining order affects around 1,744 people, an attorney involved in the suit said. The FEMA transitional assistance was to end Saturday.

The judge scheduled a telephone hearing for Monday.

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